Rep. Jimmy Gomez Applauds Biden Administration’s Designation of Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine

Urges Administration to extend these protections to Ethiopia, Cameroon, Mauritania, and other Black-majority countries.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Following a letter led by Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and joined by 98 of his House colleagues, the Biden administration has announced Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Ukraine. This announcement will provide vital, life-saving protection from deportation for Ukrainian nationals already in the United States.

“I applaud the decision by the Biden administration to grant TPS for Ukrainians,” said Congressman Gomez. “Ukraine is enduring a cruel and unnecessary war launched by Vladimir Putin, which has forced an estimated one million people to flee the country. The Biden administration is using TPS exactly as it was intended for: to provide vital, life-saving protection from deportation for Ukrainian nationals already in the United States. I also urge the administration to address the backlog of TPS designations for Black-majority countries - including Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Mauritania."

“We applaud the Biden administration for its quick action to provide life-saving protection to Ukrainians in the United States through TPS as this war unfolds,” said Victoria Kulik, President of the Ukrainian American Bar Association. “This designation is a powerful and needed message for Ukrainians as people are forced to flee their homes and country and hundreds have lost their lives. We hope this is only the first step of a broad U.S. humanitarian response to protect and welcome Ukrainians in need.”

“Ukrainians are in a situation no one imagines for themselves, but too many across the world are familiar with,” said Diana Konaté, Policy Director at African Communities Together. “To quote Somali-British poet, Warsan Shire, ‘you only leave home when home won’t let you stay.’ TPS was created for horrific moments like this, when home becomes a site of terror. Cameroonians, Mauritanians, and other Black immigrants have been living in a traumatic limbo, hoping to at least rest knowing they are protected by TPS. We implore our government to take action for Black immigrants and designate TPS for Cameroon and Mauritania.”

“TPS sends a message from the U.S. government to the world that humanitarian protection in war and disaster must be prioritized,” said Lora Adams, Campaign Coordinator of the Temporary Protected Status Deferred Enforced Departure Administrative Advocacy Coalition. “As we commend the administration for this crucial and life-saving decision to designate TPS for Ukraine, we also call for a comprehensive TPS policy that extends protection to all in need. The necessary urgency and support we have seen for Ukraine is the kind of energy that every country in crisis deserves. The backlog of TPS designations for Black-majority countries under this administration—including Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Mauritania—reflects the anti-Blackness we’re seeing as African students and others in Ukraine are denied access to escape the conflict. As the Biden administration rightly responds to war in Ukraine through this TPS designation, we also call for TPS designations for other countries to provide life-saving protection and welcome.”

In February, Rep. Gomez joined his colleagues in a letter urging the Biden administration to extend and redesignate South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In March, the Biden administration announced the extension and redesignation of South Sudan for TPS for 18 months based on an ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent individuals from returning safely.

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